A flag with signatures of famous mathematics educators from around the world was displayed at Shanghai’s East China Normal University on Monday night, kicking off the 14th International Congress on Mathematical Education.
It is the first time the world’s largest academic conference on math education, held once every four years, has taken place in China since it was initiated in 1969.
The conference was originally scheduled to be held at the Shanghai Convention and Exhibition Center of International Sourcing from July 12 to 19 of 2020, but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The seven-day conference will involve about 500 workshops and other activities with more than 2,000 people, including educators, curriculum developers, mathematicians, researchers and resource producers, from 129 countries and regions attending both online and offline.
At the opening ceremony held at East China Normal University’s indoor stadium on Monday night, Li Qiang, Party secretary of Shanghai, stressed the importance of mathematics in urban development.
He said mathematics, as the oldest and most active science of mankind, is a fulcrum and cornerstone for all other sciences.
“Mathematics has been applied to all human activities as a driving force for a new round of reforms in science and technology as well as industry,” he said. “Shanghai is a window to international exchanges in mathematics, a cradle for modern mathematics education and a test land for innovation.”
He pointed out that Shanghai is speeding up its efforts in the construction of “five centers,” namely global centers for economy, finance, trade, shipping and science and technology innovation, and improving its capacity and core competitiveness.
“To achieve scientific and technological innovation and economic development, we need to pay more attention to the development of mathematics to enhance its support for urban development as a driving force,” he said.
“We should enhance support for cutting-edge exploration of mathematics research, the innovation and development of mathematics education and the extensive application of mathematical science so that mathematics can better lead innovation and development and help create a better life.”
He said Shanghai will create a more flexible environment to encourage mathematicians dedicated to basic mathematical theory research, and contribute more wisdom to expand the boundary of mankind’s mathematical knowledge.
He called for innovation in math teaching approaches to enable young people to feel the charm of math and develop expertise. He also called for the provision of solid support for the development of emerging industries, such as integrated circuits, biomedicine and artificial intelligence, offering powerful momentum for the city’s digital transformation with new mathematical theories, technologies and methods.
“I hope this conference will be an opportunity for all of us to hear the wisdom of every guest, and for all participating countries to exchange experiences in math education,” he said.